We all fight the battle of fatigue every now and then, especially as we get older. Difficulty sleeping, demanding jobs, and everyday stresses can sap us of our energy, leaving us exhausted.
While there’s no magic potion that will instantly help you regain the energy of your youth, there are safe and natural things you can do to help boost your energy levels, according to Harvard Medical School.1
- Try to better manage your stress. If your worries are keeping you up at night and plaguing you through the day, it’s time to do something about it. Worry takes up an incredible amount of mental and physical energy, so talking to a friend, religious leader, or healthcare professional is a good idea when you’re feeling overwhelmed (link to article on managing overwhelm). You might also try relaxation therapies like meditation, yoga, repetitive prayer, and deep breathing exercises, like the ones Harvard Health Publishing recommends here.
- Lighten your load. Take a look at everything you’re doing and everything you’re currently responsible for each day. Write it all down, then determine how much you can completely let go, put off temporarily, or delegate to someone else.
- Move your body. It may seem counterintuitive, but studies have shown that getting some exercise when you’re tired can actually energize you.2 And it is likely to help you sleep better at night too! Try a brisk walk around the block, walk in place in front of your TV, or dance around the kitchen to a few of your favorite songs.
- Quit smoking. Aside from all the other reasons smoking is bad for you and those around you, it can also cause insomnia. Nicotine is a stimulant, so it makes going to sleep difficult, and cravings for more can wake you up during the night. Read our article on how to “butt out” for 5 smoking cessation tips that may help you kick the habit.
- Eat foods that boost your energy. Whole grains, high-fiber vegetables, nuts, and healthy oils like olive oil are low glycemic index foods. Eating these can help you avoid the crash you feel when you eat foods containing quickly absorbed sugars or refined starches. For more information on low glycemic index foods, visit Medical News Today, and for tips on creating an energy-boosting breakfast, click here. Remember, always check with your doctor before changing your diet, particularly if you have any underlying health conditions.
- Cut out late-night caffeine. Try to avoid drinking large amounts of coffee after 2 p.m. in the afternoon. That buzz that gets you going in the morning can prevent you from sleeping well in the evening.
- Limit your alcohol. Alcohol has a sedative effect, so don’t drink it at lunch if you need to be alert in the afternoon, or at dinner if you want to have energy in the evening. If you’re going to drink, do it in moderation at a time when you don’t mind having your energy impacted. But remember, alcohol should never be used as a sleep aid. While it may help you fall asleep, it impacts the quality of that sleep by disrupting it later on and preventing you from getting the deep, restorative rest that your body needs.3 That will impact your energy and concentration the next day.
- Stay hydrated. When your body is short on fluid, one of the first signs is a feeling of fatigue. Make sure you’re drinking water regularly throughout the day.
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